Bushfires pose a very real threat to lives and property in South Australia. It’s everyone’s responsibility to be prepared.
Keep away from any electricity equipment that has been damaged during a bushfire and report it by calling 13 13 66 or 000 if the situation is life-threatening.
It’s important to understand the risks and plan what you’ll do to keep safe when a bushfire threatens your property and loved ones.
How can I best prepare for a bushfire?
If you live or work in a bushfire risk area, you should have a Bushfire Management plan. You can also help protect your family and property from bushfires by taking these simple steps:
- Keep trees and other shrubs away from any private powerlines on your property.
- Avoid planting trees near or underneath powerlines.
There are two key things worth knowing:
Your power supply may go off.
This is because, like many others, your power supply comes from powerlines located in bushfire areas.
Lines and other equipment may get damaged if there is a fire or we may turn off power if we believe it will help prevent a bushfire starting.
If you live in a bushfire area, we recommend you think about the potential loss of power on extreme and catastrophic fire days and factor this into your bushfire action plan.
In a bushfire situation, it may take a long time before your power supply can be safely restored.
The length of the outage will depend on the location and extent of the fire damage, and our ability to access equipment to make repairs.
Some people install back-up generation just in case. If you do this, please advise us on 13 12 61 so we can keep you and our crews safe.
More information on how SA Power Networks prepares for Fire Danger Season
What should I do if I need to evacuate my property?
If you have time before leaving your property, and it’s not dangerous, you should turn off the main power switches in your meter box. This will reduce the chance of any damage to electrical equipment and wires short-circuiting or sparking.
Getting accurate information is important. ABC local radio and the CFS website offer important updates throughout emergency bushfire situations. We recommend the following at a minimum:
- Keep a battery-operated radio handy.
- Keep mobile devices fully charged.
You can also get updates on power outages from our social media pages and our website. Sign up now for SMS alerts and keep up to date with any outages via our outages map.
The CFS website offers many resources including how to make a 5-minute bushfire plan.
Why is the power turned off on days of extreme fire danger?
Cutting off power to high fire risk areas reduces the chance of a bushfire starting, particularly if a tree branch or flying debris comes into contact with our powerlines. We do everything we can in the lead up to summer to minimise this risk, and would only switch off power in extreme situations to protect lives and property. Any decision to turn off power is made in consultation with the Country Fire Service.
What if I have solar power?
For safety reasons, your solar system should be wired to automatically and immediately turn off when mains electricity supply is interrupted.
While it is possible to have a system that provides emergency electricity when the network goes down, you’ll need to contact your solar retailer for more information on what is available.